Poem Hunter
DSS (1866-1918 / Ireland)


Poem By Dora Sigerson Shorter

I hear the thrush and blackbird sing,
And blackbird sing.
Their honied voices wake the sleeping spring,
The slothful spring,
And as each lovely note sighs forth and soars,
Green to the bough doth come and bloom restores
The earth from mourning for the year at rest.
She holds the golden babe upon her breast,
The new-born spring, the waking spring.
Their glorious tune I dare not hear,
I dare not hear.
Nor April's flower behold without a tear,
Without a tear.
And friends soon come to beat upon my door,
With ‘Open wide thy casement, for before
Was never spring so fair nor song so sweet.’
I push the bolt, and to my heart repeat,
‘I dare not hear, I dare not hear.’
And comes a child to call upon my name,
Taps on the pane,
‘Oh, look thou forth and listen, ne'er again,
Oh, ne'er again

Shall thrush and blackbird sing as now they tune
Their voice in chorus for the birth of June.’
Swift from my window wide I lean and cry—
What to his curious elders I deny—
And speak my pain, and speak my pain.
‘The blackbird's song, how can I hear,
How can I hear,
When he who held their singing ever dear,
Who held it dear,
Sleeps sound though all the golden thrushes sing.’
Thus to the child still idly loitering
I weeping said, and he did make reply—
‘How can he hear, when thou dost sob and cry;
How can he hear; how can he hear?’
Oh, little child, who would not me deceive,
Thou dost believe
That his dear spirit still to earth doth cleave,
Doth cling and cleave,
And in the glory of the earthly air
Finds gladness yet, and still can take a share.
Nor lies he soulless in eternal sleep.
I fling my casement wide, no more to weep,
I must believe, I will believe.

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